Somali PM accused the speaker of rejecting negotiations and instead wanting to do "back room" deals with him "personally"
Mogadishu (tf.sf) -Somalia’s Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi (Farmaajo) on Tuesday described the speaker of parliament as indecisive and dishonest.
The PM Abdullahi criticized the speaker of the interim parliament of as one engaged in driving a divisive wedge between the executive and members of parliament so as to derail the efforts of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) to bring order in the war-torn Somalia.
Addressing a press conference in his office at government headquarters in the capital Mogadishu, Farmaajo accused speaker Hassan of failing to respect the will of the Somali people and government.
“The speaker of the parliament is not honest to the people and the nation of Somalia. For four months now he has been reluctant to attend meetings to solve the difference within the interim institutions” Farmaajo said.
“He has requested for a private meeting with the prime minister but I told him we need to settle the disagreement as a general problem facing the nation, but not solving at individual levels”
Criticizing Sharif Hassan he said it cannot only be the speaker’s interests, but that of the country at large.
“The speaker should bring all issues in front of the house for deliberation, but he takes a parallel decision of solving issues. The speaker refused all options, that is when we decided also to extend the term of the government by one year because we are fighting insurgency groups” the premier added
He further blamed the speaker of trying to derail the transitional government in order that he (speaker) can take some strategic portfolios in the next government, but Farmaajo hinted that they will strongly oppose what he calls interference by Sharif Hassan and his political acquaintances.
Farmaajo further said the much anticipated Mogadishu peace conference has been postponed. The meeting that was suppose to kick off in few days time was suppose to bring together Somalis of all works of life to discuss the country’s aggravating situation.
According to the prime minister the meeting was postponed due to unavoidable circumstance including the longstanding dispute within the interim intuitions. The meeting is slated to take place later in the year.
The row that has affected the performance of the TFG is yet to be settled as the official expiry date of the government draws nearer.
Analysts say the speaker is interested in running for the country’s top seat in case the term of the current president comes to an end in August 2011 as scheduled... more Premier Farmaajo: Dishonest, Indecisive Speaker Derails TFG
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Update: A final meeting between the Somali president and parliament speaker hosted by the Ugandan president did not take place as planned tonight because the Somali prime minister has not yet arrived in Kampala. Sources told TF.SF that the PM was called to "either convince him step aside or be given a role in the new proposed format."
Ugandan leaders held a closed-door meeting with President Sheikh Sharif Sheik Ahmed and Speaker Sharif Hassan Sheik Adan and put on the table a power sharing deal that if agreed upon may see the speaker’s side accept positions in cabinet or have a hand in the formation of a new cabinet that may replace the one currently headed by Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo.
However, both sides initially clung to their positions despite Museveni’s tough stance in bringing about a deal to end the dispute over whether to hold elections this year. Museveni is on record as suggesting a one-year extension for the TFG. Uganda is a major contributor of troops to the peacekeeping mission in Somalia.
“Museveni gave us a deadline which expires tonight (Tuesday night) to agree on the proposal,” said a source who attended the meeting. “If there is an agreement on this, it could at least reduce tension and can give one more year to TFG to complete its tasks, without going through an election”
The source said the two sides were expected to meet Museveni tonight for a final decision on the matter.
Sheikh Sharif and Adan have been staying at a luxurious Munyonyo beach resort in Kampala, Uganda, where a meeting by the International Contact Group on Somalia was concluded on Friday.
In what seemed like a reaction to the “proposals” by Museveni, Farmajo on Tuesday accused the speaker of “engaging in a bargaining game” and said he was seeking cabinet positions for his cronies.
“The speaker has been advocating for an election in a bid to remove the current cabinet from power,” he said.
The PM also announced that a reconciliation meeting planned for Mogadishu next week has been postponed
A diplomatic source told TF.SF that the Somali Prime Minister is expected in Kampala this evening in an effort to have him to join the talks.
Details are sketchy on how the proposed power-sharing can be formulated. However, sources say it is possible that a new cabinet can be agreed upon in order to give a term extension to TFG.
Sheikh Sharif insists an election this year, when the mandate of the TFG was due to end, is too early and more time is needed to build on gains made over militant Islamist group al-Shabaab.
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